Archive for April, 2008

Derby Forecast May Not Be A Winner-Ellen, Chandra, Casey and George
April 30, 2008

Casey Jones


What I’ve been suggesting for the weather to wind up the Derby Festival activities is pretty much still supportable. We still warm up today to the upper 60’s to low 70’s for the Parade. We still move to around 80 or so for the Parade Thursday and the front still approaches for Friday. Most of Oaks Day should be warm, humid and breezy but pop up showers or even t’showers may be on the prowl ahead of the front on Friday afternoon. Then the main event shows up for Friday night. The severe prospects will probably be limited due to the timing of the front and be mainly west but the SPC has us in the eastern flank of the severe risk for Friday into Saturday morning.  There will be pretty good available energy and decent dynamics and that is why they have us in the risk but its also on the edge because of the timing.

 Rain will be possible for Saturday morning. Now, there also continues to be a suggestion, perhaps even more suggestive than yesterday, that we have a situation on Saturday similar to what we had on Monday. That is that a low pivots around the main low and swings through on Saturday afternoon. It’s a pool of cold air aloft and that would possibly trigger afternoon showers and t’showers. This may actually be a better chance than on Monday because our surface temperatures will be in the low to mid 70’s and not 60. That will increase the likelihood of increased lapse rates which would enhance rain/t’storm chances. This guy will act as a cold front and bring in cooler air for Sunday, though probably not as chilly as we had for Tuesday. So, the forecast is still not in the winner’s circle…maybe place but most would probably consider it call it to show.

On This Date In History: I found a source that claims that Jesus of Nazareth died on this date around 30 AD, but I haven’t been able to get corroborating evidence so take that for what its worth.

George Washington took office for the first time in 1789. I’m a bit shady on why it was April 30 and not March 4 as the Constitution outlined but my shady memory makes me want to say it was due to transportation issues. It was a long and slow journey from Mt. Vernon to New York, the provisional Capitol. In fact, if I recall correctly, John Adams was sworn in as Vice President before President Washington took his oath. Some sources claim that means that Adams was really the first president since he would assume presidential duties in the absence of a president. 100 years later, George was honored with the nations first national holiday on this date in 1889. Then, perhaps not coincidentally, on this date in 1931, the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey was opened.

Casey Jones died on this date in 1900. His real name was John Luther Jones but when he took the job as a flagman for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and someone asked him where he was from and he said Cayce, Kentucky. The men started calling him Cayce and that turned into “Casey.” He became an engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad and was driving the Cannonball Run, which was a generic term for fast trains, from Chicago to New Orleans. He was behind schedule so he had his fireman, Sim Webb to open it up. Casey had a reputation for going too fast and also for the way he handled his train whistle. People would hear the way he manipulated the tootling and say “there goes Casey Jones.” So, he’s flying along at between 75 and 100 mph in driving his passenger train when he comes around a curve and sees a freight train stopped ahead of him. He tells Webb to jump as he applies the brakes and toots the whistle. Webb jumps and Jones plows into the caboose of the freight train. They say that he had managed to slow his train down to 35 mph, thus saving all of the passengers but he was killed. The myth is that he was found with one hand clutching the whistle and the other the brake. His watch stopped at 3:52 AM and his action is credited with saving the lives of all of the passengers. The reason he was behind schedule is that he had already driven a northbound train to Memphis and decided to make another run southbound because the engineer scheduled called in sick. In spite of the heroic lore that has followed his name, an investigation concluded that he was largely to blame for driving too fast.

Remember Chandra Levy? This was the last day she was seen alive in 2001. There was a big investigation into her murder with suspicion being focused on Congressman Gary Condit. Remember it was all over the news, day and night all summer. That is until Sept. 11, 2001 and suddenly the media dropped it has fast as they picked it up. That was also the summer of “shark attacks” that suddenly wasn’t so important by mid September.

And on this date in 1997, Ellen DeGeneres “came out” on her TV show. It was all the controversy. There was on station in Alabama that refused to run the episode on TV.

Oh…one other thing. Thomas Jefferson violated the Constitution on this date in 1803 when the US government paid $15 million to France for Louisiana on this date in 1803. It was a good deal but the Constitution doesn’t give the Executive the power to do such a thing without Congressional approval. But expediency trumped the rule of law and no one said a thing.

Oaks/Derby Daily Double? Real-Life Tony Soprano Helps G-Men
April 29, 2008

More bark than bite to Monday afternoon’s stuff. Figured it was a bit of a stretch to get severe stuff but we did have some gusty winds for a time.  Derby Week Forecast still looks on track…sorta.  Tuesday, the sun returns and we will be cool.  Wednesday a chilly start gives way to upper 60’s and lower 70’s.  Can we say Steamboat Race?  How about a parade on Thursday? Why not. Partly cloudy and upper 70’s and low 80’s.  Now, we still have the aforementioned threat of afternoon showers and t’storms on Friday during Oaks Day.  We still have a front overnight.  Now, Sunday night we had a front followed by a break mid/late morning Monday and then another guy swung around Monday afternoon bringing rain followed by chillier air.  There is some evidence that we will have a similar deal this weekend.  Front comes through with mild air and then an upper low pivots around from the Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley which may trigger some rain/t’storms Saturday afternoon.  Its a cold pool aloft like Monday but the difference would be we would be near 70 at the surface and not 60 like Monday. Hence, lapse rates increased and rain chances enhanced.  It’s still 4 days away but certainly will be something to consider.  Just like everything in life…timing will be the key.

On This Date In History:  Remember how in the Sopranos that the FBI guys were trying to get Tony to help them out to catch terrorists?  Well, in real life that sort of thing has happened in war-time.  In WWII it has been said that the underworld controlled the docks in New York and that the government turned to the criminal element for national security help to prevent sabotage and capture spies.  Though the veracity of the claim is unclear,  US Navy Lieutenant Commander Charles Radcliffe Haffenden was put in charge of New York dock security and said:

“I’ll talk to anybody, a priest, a bank manager, a gangster, the devil himself, if I can get the information I need. This is a war. American lives are at stake. ”

What seems to contradict the idea that the mobsters helped out Uncle Sam is what bigshot Meyer Lansky, recalled:

“Everybody in New York was laughing at the way those naive Navy agents… ”    

It is notable though that Lansky never denied helping the government.  Anyway, the real boss in the New York syndicate was Charles “Lucky” Luciano who had risen through the ranks of organized crime after arriving in the US as a poor immigrant from Sicily earlier in the century. He earned the “Lucky” moniker by numerous escapes from “hits” put out on him by his competition.   In 1943, Luciano was serving a 30-50 year prison sentence.  The allies were planning on invading Sicily but didn’t have much intel.  Luciano is portrayed as having an allegiance to the United States but he also had a vendetta against Benito Mussolini who had cracked down on the mafia in Italy in the 1920’s.  So, on April 29, 1942 US Naval intelligence asked for Luciano’s help and he eventually agreed with spectacular results.  With the hundreds of informants attracted with Luciano’s help, United States intelligence officers were able to infiltrate Italy’s naval headquarters and get all sorts of maps and documents.  It is said that Luciano’s helpers were even able to convince some Italian soldiers not to fight…but  they weren’t doing much of that anyway as the German army did most of the heavy lifting.  Of course, the invasion was successful and the rest, as they say, is history.

The US Navy tried to cover its trail regarding the work with the underworld but eventually it came out with perhaps the greatest evidence being the inexplicable release of Luciano from prison in 1946 after serving just 10 years of his sentence.  Luciano was deported to Sicily continuing his fame as being Lucky Luciano.   

Derby Week Outlook and a Useless Conference
April 28, 2008

So, here’s the story for the big week. If you watched last night then you saw me talk about a break in the clouds in between the ones from Sunday night and the ones to come Monday afternoon.  The sunshine will allow us to push toward 60 before a cold front sweeps across.  With today’s sun it will still be cool but enough heating to create pretty good lapse rates by the afternoon when the cold air aloft with the upper low support of the approaching storm moves in.   The boys at the SPC think that the lapse rates will be sufficient to perhaps create severe storms.  Generally, I’d it’s going to be tough to do that but the air aloft is pretty dog gone cold so its possible, not probable and if we did, it would be in the form of hail or gusty winds. 

Tuesday will feature sunshine but be cool. Wednesday we get a warm front after a chilly start and we get to the upper 60’s to low 70’s.  Great afternoon for watching a steamboat race.  Thursday will be a fine day for a parade with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 70’s and low 80’s.  Friday, first part of Oaks Day wiil be warm.  A cold front will be approaching.  I suspect that in the afternoon there will be scattered storms meandering by from SW to NE ahead of the front. It will be breezy.  The concentration of t’storms will be in a line associated with the front overnight Friday followed by lingering showers early Saturday before we clear out for a pleasant Derby afternoon.  The timing of the front has stayed pretty consistent and that will be our best scenario because its between Oaks Day race and Derby Day races.  However, afternoon Thursday races, including the Oaks race itself, my be susceptible to t’showers.  If the front is a few hours faster, then it may be more interesting than that. 

On This Date In History:  Ever noticed how there are some people who feel like that effort or intent is  more important than actual results?  Symbolism over substance.  Today marks such a day because, if that’s not the case, then it would be largely forgotten.  On April 28, 1915 World War I (then known as the Great War) raged and the International Congress of Women convened at The Hague in the Netherlands.  The meeting was one of women’s rights organizations and suffrage groups from around the world.  One of the main organizers, Aletta Jacobs, said in her opening remarks that the group meeting would “have its moral effect upon the belligerent countries,”  The conference lasted 3 days and concluded in part “…we can no longer endure in this twentieth century of civilization that government should tolerate brute force as the only solution of international disputes.”  They outlined specific ways of conflict resolution with continual mediation. 

Of course, it didn’t work, not in this war or any other armed conflict.  WWI went on for 3 more years then we had World War II and so many other conflicts.  Now, you might say that if these nations had listened to what is often referred to as the Women’s Peace Conference then these other conflicts wouldn’t have happened.  But, in WWI no one was giving up an inch on the battlefield or at the negotiating table.  Neville Chamberlain tried the negotiation route and he ended up sacrificing the people of Czechoslovakia for a piece of worthless paper. I mean really…I wonder if these ladies really thought that one could reason with Adolph Hitler 20 years after their Peace Conference?  Negotiations didn’t stop Slobadan Milosevic, it was the bombs of the United States Air Force ordered dropped by President Clinton.  When you extend a hand, you have to have a hammer close by.  People like these women meant well.  But they seem to think that having a meeting and bringing attention to themselves does anything when in fact, it does nothing.  Action requires boldness. 

If you look at the Great Seal of the United States.  You will find that in the talons of the Eagle, there is an olive branch as well as a cluster of 13 arrows.  The most obvious representation is that the 13 arrows is for the 13 original colonies.  But, the cluster of arrows and the olive branch indicates “peace through strength.”  The founding fathers knew that a strong nation was one more likely to live  in peace. 

Pragmatism and reality doesn’t seem to disuade or convince folks though because, today there are many associations like International Congress of Women that think they are doing something, that tell people they are doing something and have people tell them they are doing something when, in fact, they accomplish nothing except headlines.  Martin Luther King achieved success through action.  The US achieved freedom through action.    The Spirit and words of President Roosevelt do well here:

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Cool Start to Next Week; In Undeclared War, US Invades Muslim Nation and Topples Regime;Universe Created
April 27, 2008

Forecast pretty much on track.  Look for clouds to increase on Sunday but all in all, not too bad.  Showers may pop up late in the day but more likely the threat for general rain will be in the evening and overnight.  Showers show up on Monday and the first two days of the week will be chillier than normal.  The bulk of the Derby Festival events though will be warm.  There is a system approaching Friday and at this point, we’re going with the idea that it comes through between Oaks and Derby at night.  But, if it comes through earlier, which some data suggests, then Friday afternoon could be problematic.

On This Date In History: It was on this date in 4977 BC that the Universe was created according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.  In the early 17th century, Kepler made this calculation and claim.  Kepler is and was a noted and important figure in the development of the science of astronomy and physics.  But, he was just a bit off.  Today, the estimate for the age of the Universe is thought to be slightly different…like 13.7 billion years different.  Remember that next time you hear some scientists who come up with absolutes.

Ever heard of the Barbary Pirates?  They were from the Muslim states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania on the Mediterranean.  In other words, on the other side of the Atlantic.  In the early 19th century, these guys would seize American merchant ships and then ransom their cargo and crew to the US.  President Jefferson got tired of paying ransoms and so he took action.  Interestingly though, the much thought of Constitutionally-minded Jefferson did not ask for a declaration of war.  Instead, as Commander in Chief,  he simply sent the Navy and Marines to invade.  The Americans and some mercenaries, following a 500 mile trek from Egypt, on this date in 1805 attacked Tripolitania and “deposed” the ruler and installed his brother, who was more sympathetic to American interests.  This is where the verse of “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn comes from.  And to think, people today think America has never had a Congressionally funded, undeclared war against a Muslim state half way around the world with the purpose regime change before.  And it was Jefferson’s fault!

Don’t Worry About Sunday Night But Keep a Sharp Eye for Booth’s Assassin
April 26, 2008

Front came through this morning with little trouble.  Saturday afternoon will be sunny and nice as will much of Sunday though clouds will be increasing Sunday and its will be cooler than we’ve seen. Still comfortable.  Next front is Sunday night/Monday morning. Clouds will increase on Sunday and rain chances increasing late.  The map above is the SPC sever outlook for that time frame and you can see the slight risk is well south.  That’s because of what I said before and that is,  while it’s a strong front and will lower temperatures considerably and has a pretty good looking windfield, it doesn’t have much to work with in regard to low level moisture or energy.  The atmosphere won’t have time to load up.  The area in green that is the slight risk is pretty representative of how far north, or not how far north, the loading up gets. 

On This Date In History: A new conspiracy theory gets started when presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth is killed in a barn in 1865.  It’s kinda interesting how infamous he is.  Americans these days generally are pretty poor when it comes to history yet, this guy is probably one of the better known villains even today.  Not as well known as Colonel Sanders, but still.  But he was quite famous as an actor.  Today, it would be like a famous, good looking actor like Brad Pitt.    Anyway, Booth had escaped Ford’s Theatre by jumping from the presidential box to the stage. His spur caught in a curtain and he landed awkwardly such that he broke his leg.  That made it difficult for him to escape and he eventually got cornered in a barn near Fort Royal, Virginia.

Now, the orders were to take him alive.  The Union soldiers lit the barn on fire to try and smoke him out but before he had a chance, Sergeant Thomas Corbett stuck his musket through a slit in the barn walls and shot him.  I think Booth had his spine severed and he died.  So, the assassin was killed and the conspiracy theories began.  Corbett testified that he fired a carbine, yet the autopsy showed Booth was killed with a pistol bullet.  When Booth was dragged from the barn, the officer in charge said, “He shot himself.”  Then of course came the claims that Booth really wasn’t killed and that it was all made up.

But, Corbett went on claiming he shot Booth.  So, why did he disobey orders?  He blamed God!  He said that God told him to do it and that his orders from God were ultimate.  He also said that God once told him to avoid sexual temptation.  Instead of avoiding such circumstance, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors in 1858.  He was appointed as the doorkeeper of the Kansas legislature but was dismissed in 1887 after threatening a lawmaker with a gun.  He was committed to an insane asylum (imagine that) but escaped and was never heard from again.  Be careful, perhaps he’s still running around out there somewhere.  Then again, maybe God told him to just go away. 

Other Items of Note:

April 26, 1990  Nolan Ryan threw is 12th one hitter, tying Bob Feller’s record.  He had a record 7 no-hitters and lost 5 no-hitters in the 9th inning.  My friends and I always went to an Astros game every series they played.  Saw Ryan a bunch of times.  We called him the Big Heater, which I like better than the Ryan Express.

April 26, 2000 Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed into law the nation’s first law allowing same-sex couples to form state recognized Civil Unions

April 26, 1948 Stevie Nicks is born.  I found a site that lists her as “rocker/druggie”

April 26, 1983 the Dow Jones hits 1200 for the first time. Today its more than 10 times that at well over 12,000.  I’d say that there’s been some economic expansion. 

Cold Front Tonight, Why There are No Bears and A Case Against “Old Sparky”
April 25, 2008

The front is approaching.  Friday will be good though.  The Balloon Glow may be in question as I suspect it will be windy.  The front will have some kick to it but it will be weakening.  It does not appear that there is much potential energy to work with though it will have some dyanmic energy and the thing is coming through at night…the sun might have given it some potential.  Hence, the SPC slight risk is to our west.  Rain should be out of here by mid to late morning.  The clouds may just disappear in a hurry and Saturday afternoon will be great.  Most of Sunday looks good but another front will be coming and rain chances may increase late in the day.  It too is missing something.  It will be difficult for the atmosphere around here to load up following the Saturday morning front, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over it. But, do be prepared for unseasonably cold conditions for the first part of next week…you know…the kind that makes you turn on your heater after you thought that  you wouldn’t need it any more.

On This Date In History:  All sorts of stuff on this date that I’d like to write about but Snow White says that these things are becoming too long.  And what Snow White Says has more power than what Symon Sez.  So, I’ll just tell you one that is a show stopper.  President Truman put in a bowling alley at the White House on this date in 1947. Maybe that’s why Senator Obama went bowling as he thinks that’s part of the preparation.  If so, he needs a little help. I think he bowled something like a 37.

Samantha Smith became an international celebrity on this date in 1982 as a 10 year old when the Soviet Union published a written response to her letter to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in which she asked if the USSR was going to start a nuclear war.  This is a cute, feel good, reflective story until you reach the end.  Samantha Smith died in a plane crash at the age of 13.  Try this link for more:

Davy Crockett became famous on this date in 1831 when a play called The Lion of the West opened in New York. He was played by an actor who was famous at the time named Hackett.  Later on books and stuff came out and the mythology of Crockett was born, especially after he was killed at the Alamo.  But, one thing is for certain, PETA would not have been a fan.  Myths that are based on real people usually have a measure of truth.  In Crockett’s case, the references to him “skinning a bahr” (bear) perhaps came from the fact that he once killed 105 bears in Tennessee in one season.  If this is indeed a fact, then its no wonder we don’t see too many bears in Tennessee these days. 

Edward R. Murrow might be celebrating his 100th birthday today if he hadn’t smoked so much.

Here’s an example of why I am against the death penalty.  Before you get too riled up, it’s mainly because it assumes a perfect system and the release of James Richardson from 21 years on Florida’s death row on this date in 1989 illustrates my point.  In 1967, his seven children were poisoned to death after his neighbor came over and heated up a meal for the seven Richardson children while he and his wife were out picking fruit in the fields.  The kids all began foaming at the mouth and subsequently died.  The prosecutor told the jury how Richardson had met with a life insurance salesman just the day before about insuring his whole family.  They had found the poisoned food in the home and the poison behind in the family’s shed.  That’s it…guilty!!  Well, the prosecutor didn’t tell the jury that the insurance salesman came by unsolicited and that Richardson never bought any insurance because he couldn’t afford it.  The jury also was never told that…the neighbor was on parole for…poisoning to death her first husband!!! She was suspected of killing her second one as well. 

Fortunately the truth came out and the guy got out of jail after 21 years but the man was supposed to go to the electric chair.  There was a mistake.  The prosecutor was a bum, the guy had a crummy defense attorney and the jury was wrong.  It happens in an imperfect system but the death penalty is irrevocable.  If this guy had been killed, what do you tell the family “whoops?”  Where does his wife go for justice?  If the guy was executed, why would a case like that not be negligent homicide for the jury and judge and murder for the prosecutor?  See…that is my point. It’s an imperfect system yet there is an ultimate penalty.  Before you get really really bent out of shape, consider the real problem with this story…the parole of a murderer.  Had that neighbor woman been left in jail to serve her sentence instead of being paroled, it wouldn’t have happened.

Capital punishment is perfect but the system is not.  One mistake is not worth it.  If judges, juries and prosecutors were told they would be held responsible for a mistake in a capital case, do you really think there would be many death sentences?  Life in prison is a greater punishment in my opinion and it at least leaves open a potential remedy in the case of a mistake or like this case, injustice by a wayward prosecutor.

Stretch Continues; Rough Day in 1908
April 24, 2008

Forecast still pretty much on track.  The upper low I’ve been talking about that gonna wander from North Texas and Oklahoma and weaken as it ends up moving to near Indianapolis is up to no good as it blows up big storms in the South Central plains.  It’s still expected to follow the track indicated and weaken but it will probably bring some clouds late Thursday night and early Friday morning and could possibly bring a few showers.  Thursday itself looks good but probably not as warm as Wednesday’s 84 with high clouds.  Friday should be warm and breezy.  Now, the front still comes through late Friday but it appears that the rain may be post frontal and therefore still around for Saturday morning but Saturday afternoon looks pretty good with slightly cooler but comfortable conditions. Same for Sunday.

On This Date In History:  What’s this? A weather related event in the history section?  On this date in 1908 a pretty big tornado outbreak took place in the Southeast.  Over 300 people were killed.  The photo above is from Purvis, Mississippi which only had 7 houses remaining once this big bopper moved through. It wasn’t like the Tri-States Tornado but was still remarkable in that it was suspected to have been on the ground for about 150 miles.  It is estimated to have been an F-4…presumably an EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.  In any event, it was a big bopper.  It touched down in Amite, Louisiana and was 2.5 miles wide and took 29 lives.  When it got to Purvis, it claimed 55 more.  By the time it was done with its 150 mile trek, it had killed 143 people.

Here are some interesting statistics I’ve uncovered.  In the 20th century, it is estimated that over 15,000 people in the US were killed by tornadoes.  There wasn’t any organized warning systems in place until during World War II, the War Department had spotters on guard to warn for potential tornadoes in order to protect ammo plants and dumps.  I knew that many civilian use items are developed as a result of war but I didn’t know this was one of them.  After the war they began using spotters for civilian safety and began issuing warnings in the 1950’s with the development of forecasting techniques by the boys at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.  They issued the first watch there and a tornado touched down…on Tinker Air Force Base!  I think they did it again a week later and it happened again! 

Anyway, the warning system in the US has come a long way.  Now, the largest death toll from tornadoes comes from India and Bangladesh, where there are dense populations.  That part of the world is the only other place on the planet in which conditions that produce tornado spawning storms appear with the consistency found in North America.  Tornado Alley though still has more tornadoes than the rest of the world combined though, last time I checked.

Bob’s Husband Tip:  For my anniversary, I was thinking of the Eagles Pretty Maids All in a Rowand the line “someone should send you a rose.”  So, I sent Snow White a rose.  She loved it. Then I took her to Vincenzo’s.  Never been before.  Cardosi told me that I made a good choice and his forecast was pin point.  Great experience. Our waiter Gary was great and the food was fabulous.  I hate mushrooms but I ate’em all up they were so good.   Snow White was blown away.  Guys…if you have a special lady and want to take her to a top shelf place…you can’t go wrong.  Vincenzo is a super host and he makes you feel right at home.

Tweety’s All Fired Up!
April 23, 2008

Forecast is still right in line.  Enjoy the weather.  The little upper low on Thursday night still may bring a late shower or two and clouds early Friday.  Shouldn’t be a big deal.  Friday still looks warm and breezy. Front Friday night is looking rather pedestrian and should be out of the area for most Saturday events. If the front gets pokey though…there may still be some showers early Saturday but we aren’t playing that game.  In short, the forecast is in line.

On This Date In History:  On this date 1949 Alfred Hitchcock would not have been proud.  Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson was not for the birds.  Passed by the Illinois legislature was a bill that would protect birds from cats.  It sat on his desk until he vetoed it.  In referencing his denial of legal cover for our feathered friends, he said “We may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dogs versus cats…even bird versus worm.  [We] already have enough to do without trying to contol feline delinquency.”  No word on weather or not Tweety Bird made an appeal. 

Now…we all know that Louisiana has had some trouble following Katrina.  Of course, Mississippi was the one that really got hit by the hurricane and suffered great devastation.  You don’t hear as much about Mississippi and its continuing rebound.  Perhaps this little gem may give you some reason to figure out why….and it’s similar to the story concerning Mr. Stevenson.  While there are still many problems and issues to deal with in Louisiana on a yearly basis, the efforts to deal with reconstruction of damaged areas and institute changes to make sure that mistakes of the past will not be repeated one would think would be the primary focus of the lawmakers.  Alas, the Louisiana legislature has some how found it worthwhile, necessary and important to deal with the issue found on the link below.

Please note that the tv station that posted it on the web found it to be of newsworthy importance and makes me wonder why we don’t cover such hard-hitting stories that can only shine one type of light on journalism as a whole.

 Important Louisiana Legislation!

On more important matters, on this date 3 years ago, Snow White and I tied the knot.  It was the best thing I’ve done although I’ve had to fight off the army of psychiatrists who are eager to examine her. I’ve been accused of extortion or perhaps holding her family hostage or some such skullduggery as many find it hard to comprehend how Snow White could opt for Dopey…who sometimes morphs into Grumpy.   I definitely married up and my reputation has been well enhanced.  I shudder to think of what has become of hers. 









Earth Day Update-Phony Images in Oscar Winning Documentary
April 22, 2008

I’ll let you decide for yourselves.  This links to a story that will air on another network.  It’s about imagery in movies.  I was under the impression that documentaries were about truth but this one points out that a certain recent award winning documentary used computer generated visuals, in at least one instance, to enhance its point.  It makes me wonder how many other images were doctored or how much of a grain of salt needs to be taken when considering the verbiage.

Earth Day
April 22, 2008

Enjoy the nice stretch of weather.  My Wednesday front is a washout.  There was some indication that a little upper low will wander up from Oklahoma to around Indianapolis late Thursday but it’s running into a ridge and it will get squashed so we kept rain chances out.  Front on Friday will bring some rain late and that may hold over into early Saturday.  It may be kinda windy for balloon activities on Friday. Otherwise, enjoy the balance of the week and the nice spring weather.

Earth Day

The image from above was from Apollo 17, the final moon mission. I like it because it’s not some doctored up picture and shows the earth as it really is (was).

Earth Day is rather interesting because there are two people who get credit for its invention.   If you look up International Earth Day, you will find that John McConnell claims to have introduced the idea to the UN in September of 1969.  He said that nature provided the perfect day on the Spring Equinox.  The first UN sanctioned Earth day was on March 21, 1970.  The UN Peace Bell is rung on every UN earth day.  Their website says that the purpose of Earth Day is “to celebrate Earth’s life and beauty and to alert earthlings to the need for preserving and renewing the threatened ecological balances upon which all life on Earth depends.”

But, the media has grabbed on to another Earth Day, April 22.  This first Earth Day was held on this date in 1970. This was the brainchild of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson who said, “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.”  I guess he had the most juice because most people think of April 22 as Earth Day and political aims seem to have been met in July of 1970, President Nixon by Executive Order established the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ironic historical notes about Earth Day:

On This Date in 1915:  The German Army first introduced the use of poison gas on the battlefield as they fired 150 tons of Chlorine into Allied lines. Happy Earth Day.

On This Date in 1992: More than 200 people were killed and 1000 buildings damaged when the sewers exploded in Guadalajara, Mexico after natural gas filled the lines.  The warning signs were there but apparently the government nor the government controlled national oil company did anything about it. Happy Earth Day.

On This Date in 1994: The guy who was perhaps spurred by the first Earth Day, President Nixon, to create the Environmental Protection Agency….died.

On This Date in 1886: In Ohio, seduction became illegal.  I put this in here just because I find it odd that such an event took place on the date later designated for peace and harmony on earth.  It’s really not that big of a deal because the law says that teachers or other instructors were not allowed to have sex with anyone that they were instructing.  That is similar to laws today.  But, this one said that age was not a factor nor whether or not consent was given.  There were similar laws in other states but most of those made it crime for a man to have such relations with any woman who was not his wife.  The laws were not really enforced much but some guys went to jail.  I guess the women were just scorned, or something.  One guy in Michigan had two of his three counts thrown out by the appeals court.  They decided the second two didn’t count since the woman was no longer “virtuous” after the first encounter.  Then the third count was overturned after the court decided it was medically impossible for two people to take a tumble in a buggy!  A guy in New York in 1867 got clever and beat the system.  During his trial, he simply proposed to the woman and the trial was turned into a marriage ceremony.  Case dismissed!

BTW…I still think we should be focusing the attention on water pollution more than climate change…but alas…there doesn’t seem to be any money in that.